Round-the-world sailor Mark Sinclair approaching Kangaroo Island

GLOBAL SAILOR: Round-the-world sailor Mark Sinclair on his yacht Coconut before starting the Golden Globe race.

GLOBAL SAILOR: Round-the-world sailor Mark Sinclair on his yacht Coconut before starting the Golden Globe race.

Round-the-world sailor Mark Sinclair is approaching Kangaroo Island as he plans to dock in Adelaide this week to conduct much-needed repairs.

Mark Sinclair and his yacht Coconut are currently sailing in the 2018 Golden Globe Race: a non-stop, unassisted, single-handed circumnavigation of the world, without modern aids. 

He has no modern chart plotter, and is using only a compass, chronometer and compass, the same technology used in the original race.

In recent days, he has been in HF radio contact with Carol Meill from VMR (Volunteer Marine Radio) American River.

Through the radio, The Islander was able to ask how he was doing after 155 days at sea.

“I’m feeling very salty, health is okay, legs very weak. No injuries or scurvy. Will need a medical check for solar burns on face and hands,” he relayed.

Competitors in the Golden Globe are allowed to dock once on the journey, and Mr Sinclair has decided to dock at his home port of Adelaide. 

According to the Golden Globe Race website, it’s a non-stop one-class race, so any entrant forced to make one stopover, or break the seal on their portable GPS chart plotter, will not be eligible for any official Golden Globe trophies, refund of entry fee or completion plaques, but can remain in the event, being moved to the ‘Chichester Class’. They will receive a ‘Chichester’ finishing plaque, provided they finish no later than 1500hrs on April 22, 2019. Any entrant making two stops is disqualified.

THE YACHT: The South African built, 10.39-metre Lello 34 Masthead sloop 'Coconut'.

THE YACHT: The South African built, 10.39-metre Lello 34 Masthead sloop 'Coconut'.

He will be slipping Coconut to remove barnacles off of the keel and rudder. He also only has six litres of of fresh water left, about two day’s supply.

“I’m really excited to get to home waters via sea using sextant and chronometer. I feel for the old square rigger sailors, not having the confidence that the sextant and chronometer will get you exactly where you want to be,” he told Carol over HF radio.

She said he enjoying speaking to KI radio and he felt he was sailing into the very special waters of the Investigator Strait, where he did his shake down cruises last year.

After finishing the race next year, he hopes to visit KI and would like to give talks about his own Golden Globe experiences, as well as the historical perspective of SA’s sailing ketches and square riggers sailing here from abroad.

“No Facebook, no computers, no company – just him pencil, compass and paper. He has enjoyed the wildlife, whales etc and there has been so much to explore,” Carol said.

About Mark Sinclair

Mark Sinclair has always been passionate about sailing and the sea. In 1968, at the age of 10, he started sailing, at the time when Sir Robin Knox-Johnston departed to become the first to complete a non-stop solo circumnavigation.

In 1984, Mark completed two solo crossings of the Tasman Sea and gained his Yacht Master Ocean Certificate. Before entering the GGR, when on leave from work, Mark typically sailed his S&S 41 Starwave single-handed around remote areas of Australia.

When Mark found out about the 2018 GGR, he applied immediately, sold Starwave and deferred his plans to compete in the 2018 single-handed trans-Tasman race. Mark purchased Coconut, a Lello 34 class yacht, for the GGR.

Mark’s professional background includes hydrographic surveying of remote areas in ships, small boats and aircraft.

He served 20-years in the Royal Australian Navy, commanding three ships and navigating four, at the time when celestial navigation by sextant was still the primary means of offshore navigation.

He retired from the RAN as a Commander in 1996. Mark currently works as the Director of Fugro’s Hydrographic Services in Asia-Pacific and conducts hydrographic surveys worldwide. Mark is married with three children.

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